NAB nabbing ABN could be good for jobs

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National Australia Bank has declared an interest in buying ABN AMRO's Australasian wing, a move that would catapult it fully into the investment banking club and could create fresh job opportunities.

Takeovers usually mean lay-offs, but perhaps not this time. NabCapital - NAB's institutional and capital markets unit - operates in debt capital markets. Buying ABN would give it an equity capital markets capability, according to one banking industry source.

One recruiter, who asked not to named, says NabCapital is known to be keen to build or buy an equities strength and will actively build teams. Nice fit, no replications, no job cuts.

ABN would also contribute M&A and PPP capabilities, big earners for any bank. Far from making job cuts likely, a NAB purchase looks like good news for job hunters.

Although talks are under way, the takeover is not yet a done deal and might not happen at all. Both the Commonwealth Bank and Japan's Nomura Securities are also said to be interested in ABN (Sydney Morning Herald) .

And there could be teething troubles if NAB and ABN did tie the knot. Despite NAB's known desire to grow by acquisition, analysts, including Johan Vanderlugt at Daiwa Securities, say bolting an investment bank onto a retail operation is often an uncomfortable arrangement.

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